The 43rd edition of the annual Sanremo Round Table on current issues of IHL, which marks the 50th anniversary of the Institute, will be held online on the Institute’s learning platform starting Wednesday 9th September 2020.

The flagship event of the Institute, jointly organized with the International Committee of the Red Cross, will cover this year the whole month of September through five dedicated webinars on the topic “New Dimensions and Challenges of Urban Warfare”. 

The Sanremo Round Table webinar series will start on Wednesday 9th September at 15.00 (3 pm) CET with the opening session, which will be held in person at the “Humanitarium” – the ICRC centre for exchange and debate on humanitarian law, policy and action – in Geneva. The session will provide a cross interview on the subject with Edoardo Greppi, President of the IIHL, and Peter Maurer, President of the ICRC, followed by the opening remarks by Fausto Pocar to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Sanremo Institute. A second part of the webinar will be devoted to the introduction of the evolution of urban warfare over the past 50 years and its impact on civilians.
9th September 2020
“Humanitarium”, ICRC, Geneva (Switzerland), Online

OPENING SESSION

THE EVOLUTION OF URBAN WARFARE OVER THE PAST 50 YEARS AND ITS IMPACT ON CIVILIANS

15.00-15.50 OPENING SESSION

Cross-interview
Chair: Dr. Helen Durham, Director of International Law and Policy, ICRC
Prof. Edoardo Greppi, President, IIHL
Peter Maurer, President, ICRC

Introductory remarks
Chair: Sami Kanaan, Mayor of Geneva (TBC)

IIHL 50th anniversary
Chair: His Excellency Mr. Gian Lorenzo Cornado, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva (TBC)

The Institute’s Main Achievements over the Last 50 Years and its challenges ahead
Chair: Prof. Fausto Pocar, Honorary President, IIHL

15.50-17.00 THE EVOLUTION OF URBAN WARFARE OVER THE PAST 50 YEARS
AND ITS IMPACT ON CIVILIANS

Chair: Prof. Edoardo Greppi, President, IIHL

Cities in the Crossfire – the evolution of armed conflict in urban areas over the past 50 years
Lt. Col. Alexandre Vautravers, Swiss Army, Editor-in-chief, Revue Militaire Suisse (TBC)

Protecting civilians during urban warfare; challenges from recent conflict and future prospects
Brig. Darren Stewart, Head, Operational Law, British Army Headquarters, and Council member, IIHL (TBC)

The ICRC strategy to prevent and respond to humanitarian consequences of protracted urban conflicts
Cordula Droege, Chief Legal Office and Head of the Legal Division, ICRC (TBC)

Registration will be opening soon

16th September 2020
Online, IIHL Zoom webinar
PROTECTING CIVILANS DURING URBAN WARFARE LESSONS LEARNED FROM RECENT OPERATIONS

15.00-16.15

Chair: Nils Melzer, Vice-President, IIHL

The vulnerability of modern cities infrastructure to urban warfare
Professor Wendy Pullan, Professor of Architecture and Urban Studies and Director of the Centre for Urban Conflicts Research, University of Cambridge (TBC)

Gaza: lesson learned from Cast Lead (2008-2009) and Protective Edge (2014) Operations
Maj. Gen. Sharon Afek, Military Advocate General, Israel Defense Forces (TBC)

Iraq 2015 – 2017: from Ramadi to Fallujah and Mosul
Maj. Gen. Adel, Commander, Iraqi Army Planning Directorate (TBC)

Registration will be opening soon

23th September 2020
Online, IIHL Zoom webinar
ADDRESSING THE HUMANITARIAN CONSEQUENCES OF URBAN WARFARE IN THE MIDST OF THE HOSTILITIES

15.00-16.15

Chair: Robert Mood, President, Norwegian Red Cross (TBC)

How women with disabilities address the challenges of living in a city at war
Amina Azimi, Afghan Landmine Survivors’ Organisation and Empowering Women with Disabilities, Kabul (TBC)

Humanitarian consequences and protection risks faced by civilians during urban warfare
Caroline Baudot, Deputy Head of Unit, Protection of the Civilian Population Unit, ICRC (TBC)

Persons displaced by urban fighting: understanding their needs and how to respond
UNHCR (TBC)

Challenges of ensuring the prompt evacuation and care of wounded and sick during urban operations
Gen. (ret.) Michael von Bertele, Humanitarian Director, Save the Children (TBC)

Registration will be opening soon

30th September 2020
Online, IIHL Zoom webinar
THE CHOICE OF MEANS AND METHODS IN URBAN WARFARE

15.00-16.15

Chair: Thomas Hajnoczi, Director for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, Foreign Affairs Federal Ministry, Austria (TBC)

The challenges of applying the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution in urban environment characterised by dual-use objects and intermingled civilians and military
Michael Schmitt, Professor of Public International Law, US Naval War College and University of Exeter (TBC)

Explosive weapons in populated areas – the law and the policy
Eirini Giorgou, Legal Adviser, ICRC (TBC)

Best practices in the choice and the use of means and methods of warfare in urban operations
Col. Nathalie Durhin, SHAPE Legal Ops branch head, NATO (TBC)

Registration will be opening soon

7th October 2020
Online, IIHL Zoom webinar
IS A CHANGE OF APPROACH REQUIRED TO BETTER PROTECT CIVILIANS IN THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT?

15.00-16.15

Chair: Cordula Droege, Chief Legal Office and Head of the Legal Division, ICRC (TBC)

Putting the protection of civilians at the heart of military thinking
Sahr Muhammedally, MENA & South Asia Director at Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) (TBC)

Doctrine, planning and training for urban warfare: what remains to be done
Maj. John W. Spencer, Chair of urban warfare studies with the Modern War Institute at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (TBC)

Meeting the challenges of the protection of civilians during urban operations.
Major General Roger Noble, Australia (TBC)

16.15-16.30 CLOSING WORDS

Dr. Helen Durham, Director of International Law and Policy, ICRC
Prof. Edoardo Greppi, President, International Institute of Humanitarian Law

Registration will be opening soon